Opinion: Should Virat Kohli take a break from cricket?

Virat Kohli got a chance to represent India after he impressed Chief Selector Dilip Vengsarkar in his formative years. He went on to captain India Under-19 team for a World Cup win. He made headlines as emerging sensation.

He got an opportunity to represent Indian Men’s team as new Captain MS Dhoni back in 2008 tried to construct a young team with talented juniors as Seniors are coming close to the end of their respective careers. Virat Kohli made a name in Indian Premiere League representing Royal Challengers Bangalore and won the emerging player award too.

Later, he craved a name for himself at No.3 in Indian star studded batting order. With Dhoni, his partnerships during important chases and his ability to play waiting game, rotate the strike and accelerate have made him a star. Adelaide century against in form Lasith Malinga, Test centuries in SENA countries after initial failures showcased his grit, determination and penchant to improve.

He made such strides in International Cricket that many called him modern day legend. His batting looked like painting in motion. His cover drives, on-drives, straight drives still cannot be replicated by any other batsmen. Mainly, his consistency made him the legend that he is today.

He looked to be on the course to climb the Mountain Sachin Tendulkar and become a new peak himself in terms of ODI run scorers. Even in Test Cricket, he overcame his shortcomings and played to best of his abilities every time people wrote him off. But this England Test, South Africa series, recent ODI performances, T20I performances can be termed as him ageing out his peak.

Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumara Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis transformed their playing styles and found a way to overcome the fatigue, age factor to become more consistent before retirement as well.

Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly went back to domestic cricket when their performances have been as poor as Virat Kohli’s. May be he needs to go back and concentrate on just playing back himself into form.

Also, he can just take break from cricket like Ben Stokes for few months and come back. Whatever helps him to perform at his best as Indian Cricket depends on him as a senior to guide youngsters coming in to the side. He has dropped out of Top Ten in ICC rankings for the first time since 2016. He gave up on captaincy of Indian Team. Similarly, if he needs to take some time off, he might be able to do that as him performing at his best ability is more important than his mere presence.

MS Dhoni’s wicket keeping levels never fell off the grid, which is primary responsibility and he became a late order batsmen in the fag end of his career as well. But Kohli is a top order batsmen and his role as a senior batsman to guide young middle-order players in International side by being at his best is a requirement for Indian side. So, it might be well advised for him to at least consider going and playing in other country leagues at least to just play himself into form.

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